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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Country is poorer today than when PM came to power in 2015 - PSD opposition




Lisbon, Nov.25,2022 (Lusa) – The leader of Portugal's opposition PSD (Social Democratic Party) on Friday accused the PS (Socialist Party) government of having put Portugal in a position of the "scavenger car" of Europe and that the country today is "poorer" than when António Costa became prime minister, in 2015.
Speaking to journalists in parliament at the end of the final approval of the state budget for 2023, Luís Montenegro declined to answer the question whether he would go to Qatar to watch a national team match if he were prime minister.
"The state budget does not serve the Portuguese, I will not blur that message, if I answered that question, I would lose what was my focus," he said.
And the central message that the PSD leader left for more than ten minutes was that "Portugal is today a clearly poorer country than in 2015", giving as an example the news from today's weekly Expresso newspaper that Romania will overtake Portugal in 2024 in GDP per capita.
"We have been moving towards the tail of Europe. Portugal, instead of being on its way to the front of the pack, is in a position of Europe's scavenger car and being cyclically overtaken," he pointed out.
Luís Montenegro said that "contrary to what the government says", there is now "a prospect of hopelessness, lack of ambition and solutions to reverse the situation".
"These budget debates are too repetitive, which means the country is always in the same situation, nothing happens. The Portuguese would like, from year to year, to see different objectives and different goals, but after a year we are at the same point," regretted the social-democrat leader, who is not a member of parliament, but who today attended the closing of the debate on the state budget for 2023 in his office in parliament.
About the criticism left by the minister of infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, and the PS in the budget debate, that this PSD is not an alternative to the government, Montenegro said he was satisfied "with the concern shown" to his party and countered that the orange bench (PSD) delivered more than 200 proposed amendments to the budget, of which only less than a dozen were approved.
"There was a mockery of dialogue, 97% of proposals were not accepted. If you ask me if we were expecting the number to be higher... I have to be honest, we were not expecting the government to change course because of the PSD, it should have done so, but as the minister and the parliamentary leader of the PSD recognised, if they approved proposals from the PSD the country would enter on a different course," he said ironically.
Asked if the PSD wanted to leave a message to Chega (right-wing populist party), when the social-democratic parliamentary leader said that opposition in the centre-right is not done with insults, shouting or lies, Montenegro did not answer directly.
"We are not the party of ranting, of protest, we are truly alternative, because we want to govern Portugal in normal conditions," he said.
The PSD leader again criticised the government for not having channelled more surplus tax collected into supporting families and businesses and not having anticipated that inflation would be a lasting problem.
"Behind the statistics, there is a health system that does not meet the needs of the country, an education system that leaves 60,000 schoolchildren without classes on the first day of the academic year, where thousands of young people have extreme difficulties in accessing the housing market," he pointed out.
Luís Montenegro also criticised the government for complaining that the opposition uses 'cases' that "it itself motivates".
"I ask which case that affected a member of the government originated from the opposition? All the cases were rooted in absolutely unfortunate or unreasonable speeches made by the government, or else in circumstances that had to do with the exercise of duties, with one aggravating factor: always with the great cover and complicity of the prime minister", he stressed.
For the PSD leader, this "lack of political authority which the cases that members of the government bring up, is effectively undermining their capacity to intervene".
SMA/AYLS // AYLS
Lusa



Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-11-26 00:29:00







 

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